This week I wanted to work out a color palette and didn't want to waste good canvas. I got out my sketch pad and worked on a scene I wanted to develop with different oil paint combinations. Using triads and split complementaries I finally settled on this work- Cad.yellow med, Trans. Oxide Red, and Ultramarine Blue with Titanium White. Make this oil mix very slurry and use a pencil to lay in your drawing. Then fill in what you think should fit the values. Have fun, experiment! It's only paper. Keep these studies small till you figure out what works!
I got out if bed early this morning to make a trip up to Mt. Baker. Arriving about 9:00 I found a scene that I thought represented the area still in snow. The ski area was closed for the season so it was just me and the birds looking for a handout. I spent about 2 hours putting this on a 9x12 canvas and then went down the mountain for lunch. I love the thickness of the paint on this work and I am going to work with more paint more often!
This week I have been studying the importance of value and mass in landscape. Furthermore, site selection, and how it pertains to the work. Both of the scenes here were done with oil paint matching the values of the objects in the scene. To be "readable" the masses must hold together as is demonstrated. Take a panoramic photo and crop it to a specific area that seems to have some directions and mass that can be translated to the canvas then work in one color (like burnt umber) to achieve 4 different value levels. This is a worthwhile experience and will add much value to your work.
Learning what can be done with different colors is really important when you approach a studio painting. You must have a color strategy that works together in order to have an effective painting. This is called color harmony and is accomplished by selecting a limited palette then deciding the predominant color. The three paintings here are all limited palettes. The first uses ivory black, yellow ochre and venetian red with titanium white. The predominant color is ivory black as you might have guessed. Of note, the undertone of the work is done in a mix of burnt umber and yellow ochre.
The second work is worked in naples yellow, yellow ochre, alizarin, ultramarine blue and titanium white. Here the predominant color is yellow. The underpainting was set in yellow ochre.
The third work has an underpainting of cadimium red light with a pallette of cad. yellow , cad. red light, ultramarine and titanium white. The predominant color here is violet. These exercises help to understand what mood one creates when using these colors and how to vary warm and cool to provide balance.